Several contenders look to capture men’s epee gold

Fencing action continues on Day 4 with the men competing in the individual epee.

France’s Gauthier Grumier is the favorite to win gold. He has been the top ranked fencer in the world for consecutive seasons. He won silver at the World Championships in 2015.

Grumier will make his second Olympic appearance. He lost in the Round of 32 in London to eventual silver medalist Bartosz Piasecki of Norway.

Other medal contenders include Hungary’s Geza Imre. The 41-year-old fencer won gold last year at Worlds, becoming the oldest fencer to win a world title.

Enrico Garozzo is also expected to be in contention for a medal. Garozzo’s younger brother, Daniele, bested U.S. fencer Alexander Massialas for gold in the men’s foil competition. The elder Garozzo is the second ranked fencer in the world and has finished in the top five at the last two World Championships.

Venezuela’s Ruben Limardo makes his return to the Olympics. He surprised the fencing world by taking gold in London. After finishing seventh at Worlds last year, he is considered a dark horse candidate for the medal matches.

Jason Pryor will be the sole U.S. representative in the competition. He has not finished higher than 62nd at Worlds the past two years.

Pryor told NBC’s Joe Posnanski in Rio that he wants to be at his best, win or lose.

“All I want is to have the greatest fencing day of my life,” he said. “That’s all. People are here for all different reasons. That’s mine. If I have my greatest fencing day, win or lose, I’ll have what I came for.”

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